3D Printing in Dentistry
As technology continually evolves and morphs, industries of all types have to adapt and capitalise to keep up and stay at the front of their field.
3D printing is one of the cutting edge technologies which is coming to define the expanding possibilities in not just aerospace, defence and design but also surgery and healthcare. The implications of its development are proving to be invaluable for the dental sector for clear reasons; it is perfectly suited for developing the implant procedure, and is seemingly revolutionising how dentists go about doing it.
3D printing has grown hand in hand with developments in 3D imaging and modelling software, allowing for the digitisation of bespoke implant designs and new levels of accuracy in production.
The potential applications of this technology also go beyond just implants, as Dutch researchers have been working on 3D printed teeth made from anti-microbial plastic that could keep in pristine condition over time.
This could be a major convenience for any potential patients if achieved.
In early 2015, 3D printing company Stratasys revealed a high end dental 3D printer capable of printing life-like models of teeth, gums and nerves with “gum-like softness and colour” and a “range of natural tooth shades”. From a wider perspective, the makers of this technology are trying to push towards the availability of bio-printed replacement parts for the human body; from teeth to bones to organs. There have even been claims that teeth could be printed within minutes of sitting down in the dentist’s chair. The medical promise from 3D printing seems to be progressing exponentially and the possibilities are simply fascinating.
Keep your eyes out for strange looking boxes whirring away in the Dental surgery in the coming future, they could be making your new teeth!